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SEARCHLIGHT  ON HINDUISM!                                69
'Negatives—nothing but negatives. Tell us what Hinduibm
is, not what it is not.*
The reader would be justified in making such au interruption.
But Hinduism is like a temple in a jungle; there is a mass of
spiritual undergrowth to hack away before any clear outlines
can be revealed.
And now we have to face the greatest negative of all.   It will
involve a considerable diversion, but it is a vital diversion if we
are to gain a true impression of India's religious landscape.
Hinduism is not Christianity.
At which the reader might feel entitled to make an even
sharper expostulation. ' Obviously it isn't.5 he might say. * Every-
body knows that/
But everybody does not know it. There are millions of amiable,
loose-thinking men and women in the West who glibly accept the
idea of the 'Universality of Religion/ who choose to regard all
religions as merely different aspects of the same Great Truth.
Romain Rolland, for instance, spent the greater part of his life
trying to propagate this theme. To these people, Hinduism and
Christianity are merely 'rays of light that sparkle from the facets
of a single diamond *; or they are fi drops from the same clear
water of the Universal Ocean/ There is an almost inexhaustible
stock of cheap metaphors at the disposal of the "Universal
It is a comforting doctrine. Warm and cosy and soothing to
the anxious spirit. There is only one drawback to it. Namely,
that, in order to believe it, you must be completely ignorant of
history and theology; you must understand nothing of the life of
Christ on the one hand, and you must not take even a peep into
the Hindu pantheon on the other. For those who are prepared to
shut their eyes and keep them shut, the doctrine of the * Universal
Religion' is most helpful.
To mention only one of its advantages, it entirely eliminates any
awkward feelings of being 'different' from the Indians. Nice
people don't like to feel 'different5; they are embarrassed by the
thought that they may be * superior5; aixd if Christianity and